|Weekly News Digest
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NISO Releases Updated Draft of SERU
The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) announced the availability of a draft update of SERU: A Shared Electronic Resource Understanding for public comment (NISO RP-7-201X) through Feb. 19, 2012. SERU offers publishers and libraries the opportunity to save both the time and the costs associated with a negotiated and signed license agreement for eresources by both content provider and customer agreeing to operate within a framework of shared understanding and good faith. The SERU framework provides a set of common understandings for parties to reference as an alternative to a formal license when conducting business.
When SERU was adopted as a NISO Recommended Practice in 2008, its focus was on ejournal transactions, and the parties involved were primarily libraries and publishers. Since then, with the many emerging models for acquisition of ebooks, both libraries and ebook providers have requested that other types of electronic resources be incorporated into the SERU framework. This updated version of SERU recognizes both the importance of making SERU more flexible for those who want to expand its use beyond ejournals and the fact that consensus for other types of eresource transactions are not as well established as they are for ejournals. In those instances where there is as yet no standard expectation, a shared understanding may still be achieved if expectations are clearly articulated in the purchase order that accompanies SERU.
“This public draft takes into account the perspectives and input from a number of parties,” states Nettie Lagace, associate director for programs at NISO. “After the Standing Committee—consisting of libraries and providers with experience in licensing—discussed possible changes, previous versions of drafts were circulated to stakeholders for further comment. The SERU Standing Committee also held a lively discussion session at the Charleston Conference in November and has made further edits since then. The group is looking forward to reactions and comments from the broader community prior to finalizing the document for publication.”
The draft updated SERU Recommended Practice and an online comment form are available on the NISO SERU website. All parties involved in licensing electronic content are encouraged to review and comment on the document.
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